Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Arriving at the EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels on July 22, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos made a doorstep statement: he said that first, the FAC focus is on the situation in Gaza, and that efforts should be on acceptance of the Egyptian initiative. He stressed that from the outset, Greece has supported this proposal as the sole solution that will bring an immediate ceasefire to the region. The second main issue is Ukraine and the aircraft tragedy, and the necessity to fully implement the latest Security Council resolution.

Speaking at the FAC, the foreign minister said that Greece supports the Dutch proposal as the Netherlands is the country that has the largest number of victims in the tragic incident of the airplane crash in Ukraine. The Dutch proposal emphasizes among others, the need for full and safe access for investigation at the site of the tragic event with respect to the "territorial integrity" of the area.

Moreover, referring to developments in the Middle East and particularly in Gaza, Venizelos said that Greece has from the outset, in a number of diplomatic interventions, supported the Egyptian initiative -demanding immediate ceasefire in Gaza and urging Israel to stop its aggressions on the Palestinian people in the enclave.

Venizelos spoke of the need for an immediate ceasefire, return to the armistice regime of 2012 and, as he noted, the ultimate goal is the resumption of the peace process. But what must be avoided is the continuation of the humanitarian crisis in the region, he said.

The Athens International Airport (AIA) won the Air Transport Research Society award for efficiency in its category (Europe) as announced on July 22. 

According to the Global Annual Benchmarking Report, a survey that evaluates the efficiency of roughly 200 commercial airports worldwide, the winners of the 2014 European Airport Efficiency Excellence Awards are Copenhagen International Airport, for airports servicing more than 20 million passengers, and AIA in the Small/Medium Airport Category.

Ancient Greek theatre continues to fascinate the world! The ancient Greek theatre of Bradfield College in the English county of Berkshire reopened this summer, following extensive damages caused by 120 years of operation.

The new theater has 1,000 seats and a platform known as the agora – a Greek word used to describe a public space for markets or assemblies. The first tragedy presented in the new theater was Sophocles’ Antigone in June. The cast of 24 pupils, including two Russians and one Chinese, did an amazing job of learning the Ancient Greek phonetically, as only one of them studies the language.

Every three years the College produces a Greek play from the classical age in the original language. This provides pupils with a chance to better understand the work of the great Greek tragedians, and to perform to a large audience composed of the general public, rather than the College community.

See also: National Theatre Discover An introduction to Greek Theatre [video]

As a breakthrough of experimental archeology can be viewed the team project "First Mariners," who built a raft by using only organic materials and copies of Paleolithic tools, and travelled on it from Kythira to Crete island, thus confirming archaeologists’ assumptions that Paleolithic populations were able to cross large shipping distances with their own makeshift boats.

The First Mariners' team started its journey with the raft named "Melida" from Kythira on July 17 and completed its venture by arriving in Chania, Crete on July 19.

The team was led by the 73 year-old historian and writer, Bob Hobman, who has built, filmed and navigated native craft through Indonesia’s Spice Islands and the Pacific for four decades.

The reason behind this pioneering project was the recent discovery of stone tools at Plakias on Crete’s south western corner and on its neighbouring island of Gavdos, which were dated to at least 130,000 years earlier. Until this discovery in August 2010, archaeologists had thought that human presence on the Greek islands began some 12,000 years.

Renowned Dutch palaeontologist Paul Sondaar was the only person who had serious doubts about the 12,000 BC inhabitation of Crete and believed that Crete’s unique dwarfed animals -hippos and elephants and a menagerie of other exotic creatures- became extinct about 125,000 years ago, largely because of man’s presence on the island.

Have you ever wished you could just take a bike and ride through the city? Or on a whim, ride by the sea or in a particular region that you are visiting for the day? Look no further, Cyclopolis is here!

Bike-sharing systems - or public bikes - are electronic, automated systems that offer the possibility for short bicycle rentals, and the fee is minimal. While bike-sharing is a system that has existed for decades in various cities throughout the world, recently it has also begun operating in several cities in Greece, including Nafplio (Atttiki), Ancient Olympia, Aktion-Vonitsa, and Kiato. So get on board and check out the new personal transport system that brings a modern way to move throughout the city - more healthy, green, cost-effective and convenient!